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Missoula prepares for post-holiday COVID-19 surge

Posted at 3:45 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 17:45:11-05

MISSOULA — Missoula County is bracing for a surge in covid cases, following the first local case of Omicron announced on Tuesday.

“Go ahead and get your booster shots if you haven’t,” said Missoula County Covid-19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr.

Farr said it takes your body’s immune system about two weeks to respond to that booster dose. “If you’re counting on being around a bunch of people and want to make sure you get that booster, it’s not too late to go ahead and get it. But just know that you won’t be fully protected until about 2 weeks after the vaccine.”

Farr said Missoula officials are expecting another surge in cases over the next few weeks.

“If it follows the same pattern that we’ve seen in the past, 3-4 weeks after we see a surge on the East Coast is when we start to see a surge in Missoula County.”

She said some of those cases will likely be Omicron.

“It is highly transmissible.”

Farr said Missoula has automated a lot of the systems since our last surge in covid cases.

“Those processes like being able to fill out a web form for people that do test positive, identifying their close contacts and getting all of that process automated should really help us in our response to this new variant.”

The CDC has not issued any new guidance, but Farr said the same things we're used to, like masks, social distancing, and hand washing, are still believed to be effective measures of prevention. “So definitely all good habits to put back in place after we all kind of dropped our guards a little bit.”

For more information on covid and vaccines, go here.